How Marvel’s Worst Netflix Feud Got Even More Intense – and More Personal

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Devil’s Reign #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Marvel’s latest crossover event, Devil’s Reign, has officially begun with the New York City superhero community of the Marvel Universe now operating outside of the law as Mayor Wilson Fisk has outlawed all vigilante activity under his jurisdiction. No longer simply hunting his usual enemies, the Kingpin of Crime is publicly targeting recognized superhero ensembles as widely respected as the Fantastic Four in his latest bid for power. However, when it comes to Fisk and superheroes, this ambitious new campaign is inspired specifically by his greatest nemesis, Daredevil, taking their longstanding vendetta to an especially ugly place.

While the Kingpin was originally introduced primarily as a Spider-Man supervillain, he quickly became more associated with Daredevil during Frank Miller’s time crafting universally acclaimed stories for the Man Without Fear. Daredevil and Fisk’s feud would reach its explosive climax when the Kingpin discovered the Scarlet Swashbuckler’s secret identity as Matt Murdock after his sometimes girlfriend Karen Page sold it out while strung out on drugs and looking for a fix. This culminated in the Kingpin targeting every aspect of Daredevil’s personal and professional life in Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s celebrated 1986 story “Born Again,” with Matt barely surviving the experience and Fisk deciding to keep this knowledge to himself as he continued to make Daredevil’s life a living hell.

RELATED: Why Did Daredevil Give Up His Most Potent Weapon in His War on Crime?

Devil’s Reign #1 (by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz and Clayton Cowles) opens with Fisk realizing he used to be aware of Daredevil’s identity but his memories and all his notes on the subject have since been mysteriously wiped clean without a trace. While Fisk had been plotting to resume his vendetta against Daredevil after a failed attempt to go legitimate shortly after his election, the discovery that his own mind had been tampered with to benefit his greatest enemy is the straw that effectively breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Outraged at being outsmarted and manipulated, the Kingpin outlaws all superheroes and hires an army of supervillains to serve as his legal enforcers to carry out his sinister agenda.

Daredevil finding a way to erase his identity from the Kingpin’s mind was derived from the powers of another longtime supervillain. While Matt had publicly confessed to being Daredevil to ostensibly live a more honest, fuller life towards the end of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on his title, this proved short-lived. After those around him were threatened over his superhero activities at the start of Charles Soule and Ron Garney’s run, Matt and the Purple Man’s children used tech that boosted their mind-controlling powers to erase memories of his secret identity to the world, including those closest to him. While Daredevil has gradually allowed those he trusts to relearn his secret, the Kingpin still remains in the dark…and Fisk is not pleased.

RELATED: DC and Marvel Superheroes Vs. the Police May Be 2022’s Most Important Fight

Despite the intense pressure they’re facing under the Kingpin’s new law and supervillain enforcers, the heroes make it clear that they don’t hold Daredevil responsible for this cataclysmic turn of events. Having said that, for someone with as established a guilty conscience complex as Matt Murdock, every incident and tragedy emerging from Devil’s Reign is sure to haunt him as a bloody price for the decision he made to restore his secret identity.

Although every superhero operating out of New York is now in danger, Devil’s Reign will likely ultimately boil down to a showdown between Daredevil and the Kingpin, as it most certainly should.

KEEP READING: X-Man Emma Frost’s Secret History With the Kingpin Is About to Be Revealed

from Ultimate Comic Blog
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